Brownlee: I'm sick of insurance companies stalling

9:50 pm on 26 July 2012

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister, Gerry Brownlee, says he's sick of insurance companies giving baseless excuses for delays with quake-related claims.

Mr Brownlee says the release on Thursday of a Christchurch-wide land damage report, coupled with improved efficiency on the part of the Earthquake Commission, should wipe out some insurers' reasons for stalling.

The land damage report, compiled by the commission, is thought to be the most detailed ever completed.

The commission says there has also been a rise in the number of claims being handed to insurers for processing, with 2000 going out in the past week.

Mr Brownlee says these moves mean insurers have far fewer excuses for settlement delays.

He says the Government has stepped up and now it's time for the private sector to do the same.

"I'm sick of hearing from reinsurance companies saying 'We're happy, we just want to put a line under it and move on' - and then insurers saying 'We can't move because we can't satisfy our reinsurers'. I think: stop all the excuses and get on with the work."

Insurers 'working as fast as they can'

The Insurance Council says insurers are working as fast as they possibly can to settle Canterbury earthquake-related claims.

The council's chief executive, Chris Ryan, says insurers would like a speedy recovery as much as the minister does.

Mr Ryan says data is starting to come through that will help insurers make decisions, and people should be optimistic the recovery is going to happen.

He says he can give a guarantee insurers will go as fast as they can.